I spent the first few months of the year booking a tour for the spring. It was a lot of work but it was well worth it, as I had my best time On The Road yet. I rode buses for five weeks between April and May, headed to over 20 cities in the south and Midwestern US. My freegan friend Annie joined me for much of the trip and we had a really great time traveling together.
In June I headed to North Carolina for Wild Goose Fest. I didn't get to play, as I'd hoped, but I volunteered on the waste management team again, this time taking a leadership role. From the fest I went straight to my friend Zach's house in Burlington, NC. He is a recording musician as well and we had planned to collaborate on my debut full-length album. I spent about three weeks there, writing and recording my new songs. Near the end of the session, I determined the name of the new album - Heliotropism.
Once we finished recording in early July, I headed back to NYC. My original plan had been to serve my second year as an AmeriCorps volunteer in my neighborhood, but to my great disappointment I was not chosen for the position. This was a huge upset for me, but I rolled with the punch. I began the application process for NYC Teaching Fellows, a program that helps wannabe teachers without degrees in education to get into the DOE. But I also knew that if I were accepted to the program, I wouldn't start teaching til September 2013.
There was yet much to do with the album - which I intended to unveil around the anniversary of Occupy Wall Street on September 17 - but I also needed steady income rather immediately. So I sought a part-time job in the neighborhood, even as I worked on the album. By the end of July I was on payroll at Darling Coffee, a bakery in Inwood, and planning the album's release show at Word Up. Unfortunately I was in for another upset when Word Up was forced out of the Broadway storefront at the end of August. I would likely have to postpone the physical release of Heliotropism.
Again, I rolled with the punch. I put out the digital release right on schedule, September 15, and promoted the living crap out of it. And despite our displacement, Word Up volunteers regrouped and organized an IndieGogo campaign to raise $60K for our reopening in the neighborhood. I helped out by creating a bunch of music videos and hanging around uptown parties in a large cardboard book costume, collecting donations from people who took pity on me. We reached our goal on January 1st, a great way to start the year!
In late December I learned that I was not accepted for the position with NYCTF. For the KO. I should have written this post around that time, but I honestly didn't know what to plan or expect for the new year. Plus I've been busy with the At Your Request cover album and writing for my blogs. And I've procrastinated.
But I think that this month has given me enough time to develop a better picture of my prospects for 2013. So here they are:
1) GioSafari - I'll keep promoting the cover album for a time, but I'm also refocusing on Heliotropism. I'm hoping that Word Up will be open again in the spring and as soon as we confirm the new location, I'll be promoting the album. I'm thinking it'll be at least two or three months of trying to get reviews on blogs and other music publications, to play and promote on indie radio and TV stations, and to do any and all else to get the word out about the album. In the summer, I'd like to work on a music video for the album's single Sing At The Top Of Your Lungs.
2) Writing - In late December I revamped this site, consolidating my blogs and starting a new one on privilege (lately I've been gleaning wisdom from the lyrics of certain Seattle hiphop outfits). I plan to post to each of the blogs at least two or three times a month.
3) Darling - I still work at Darling Coffee, but… well, I'm not sure what to feel about it. I don't like the prospect of jobbing at Darling indefinitely, yet I'm also not compelled to seek out other work. I do want other work, but I'm thinking - and praying - that it'll just come to me. Somehow.
4) Uptown Freegans - I feel more convicted than ever that uptown Manhattan needs its own freegan group. So I launched one on Facebook and meetup.com earlier this week. I'm thinking we'll have organizer meetings on first Wednesdays and food rescue missions on first and third Wednesdays. The first meeting will be next week on the 6th in the Morningside Heights area. Click here for more details on the group and meeting.
I'm sure that there will be much more on the horizon, but this is all I can see for now.
Oh, and I need to get new glasses…